How do shipping container homes compare to traditional building costs, can you really save money?
Architect Michele Bertomen and her husband David Boyle seem to be proof you can.
They had a dream of owning their own home and bought a 20 x 40 foot lot of land in Williamsburg Brooklyn, NYC.
It was a happy time in their lives – but they now needed to come up with a plan for building their first home.
How couple saved thousands building with shipping containers.
Soon after the purchase they made some drawings of their dream house.
They then sent the masonry envelope out for bid.
That bid came back as $300,000 – way beyond what the couple could afford.
They were now forced to rethink the whole project.
Then the couple came up with an idea of building their house using shipping containers.
After checking containers for sale they discovered they would be around 1500-2500 Dollars each, way cheaper than building a conventional structure.
Their building cost now came back as a total of $50 000 for the envelope instead of $300 000.
Banks said NO to container home loan – but this didn’t stop them.
After the containers had been craned into position there was another problem.
Unfortunately the bank would not give them a loan to finish the property.
This held up the completing the project for 10 long months.
Michele says it was a low period in their lives.
Fortunately, they eventually managed to get a little more money together.
This allowed them to continue with the build on a budget.
Donated material and a little creativity help get the container home finished.
David says they were donated windows and just cut the holes in the walls to match whatever size of window they were given.
They also installed an interesting heating system which is effectively a radiator on the concrete floors they laid down.
The house was constructed using 5 shipping containers, took 4 years to complete and the couple moved in in 2012.
When they later found out that it was the first shipping container house in NYC they were stunned.
David says people stand outside and look mesmerized by it.
‘That’s the nice thing, a lot of people say – I look at your house and I want to do it too’. David Boyle.
The story behind this container house is inspirational – plus a clear example of how creativity and perseverance won the day (and saved $250k).